“Why is the Forest Green?”
Updated: Jul 18
In chapter one of "The Heartbeat of Trees," , Wohlleben explains scientifically how we are able to see colours.
As I was reading this chapter, I started to think about colour and how it is perceived. Colour is my favourite unit when teaching visual arts. I started painting when I was eleven years old. My parents enrolled me in a community course in Mississauga. This was the beginning of my journey in formal training in visual arts. It was my first time using oil paints.
I remember how paint simulated my senses. I loved watching each colour emerge from the paint tube. As a young artist, I felt the combination of anticipation and satisfaction when each colour revealed itself on the palette. I discovered endless possibilities of mixing colours. Swirling and mixing paint with a palette knife felt intuitive. I can vividly remember the intoxicating aroma of the oil paints. To this day, whenever I smell oil paints it takes me back to this memory and how I was excited and eager to learn painting.
Today, whenever I see paint supplies or specifically supplies with colour, I feel a passion to explore. When I think of the colour green, I automatically connect with nature. As Wohlleben describes, “We know we feel relaxed when we look at green trees.” Green creates a sense of calm and balance. Whether I am hiking in the forest, or walking through a field of grass, I am drawn into the landscape. I feel connected. I am excited to explore and discover new species each time I connect with my natural surroundings.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Wohlleben states, “I see infinite variations on the colour green.”
I found this statement inspiring. It feels like the starting point of my journey. I feel compelled to explore the colour green further. He identifies variations of green in nature:
Blue-green of the lichens
Yellowish green of the grasses
Vibrant blue green of the douglas fir
Warm yellow green of the algae growing on the bark of trees
Pine green, shamrock green, or sage green
Light green/dark green
I am interested in the subtleties of variations of green. I want to find different species that represent these variations.
On Saturday, we visited Drumheller, Alberta to see the badlands. I made it a point to stop along the side of the road to collect natural artefacts for my collection. I was surprised to find a cactus. I collected lichen and moss and a few rocks. What a cool place to visit.